A rare Wednesday is in store for daily fantasy baseball players with seven early games and eight late games. That’s normally the type of format reserved for a Thursday, but getaway day games cover almost half of the 15-game schedule for July 22. As we often like to do on days like this, this look at the top stacking options and value players in the DFS marketplace will feature options from both the early and late games. Hopefully you followed along yesterday as Kyle Schwarber, Jarrod Dyson, Yasiel Puig, and Chris Heston paid huge dividends.
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The salaries listed are from DraftKings.
Here are the top teams to stack for July 22:
Detroit – The Tigers are in a funk right now, but it’s not because of their offense. Nine runs weren’t enough on Tuesday night, but they could have similar offensive success on Wednesday against Mike Montgomery. One of the best approaches to stacking teams is to find pitchers that are due for regression. In Montgomery’s 61 innings this season, he has a 2.51 ERA. Dig deeper and you will see a 3.65 FIP and a 4.05 xFIP. These numbers are adequate in the American League, but Montgomery’s 83.6 percent strand rate with a well below average strikeout rate is not sustainable. The Tigers have the second-best offense in baseball against lefties, trailing only the Blue Jays, so they are definitely worth stacking on Wednesday.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – Mike Pelfrey isn’t very good. The Angels have scored 5.69 runs per game over their last 19, winning 16 of them. They are hanging some big numbers over the last few weeks and I wouldn’t trust Pelfrey to slow them down. Pelfrey now has a 4.00 ERA with a 4.04 FIP and a 4.39 xFIP. Regression had been coming for Pelfrey for a while and it has hit in a big way over his last four starts. Over his last 20.1 innings, Pelfrey has allowed a .386/.439/.511 slash. He was outpitching his advanced metrics in a big way and that has caught up with him now. He hasn’t pitched since July 9, so don’t expect him to be sharp.
St. Louis – Things have turned around a bit for John Danks, but he’s still a below average pitcher with command problems and a defense that won’t help him at all. The Cardinals do struggle with left-handed pitching, and have for a while, but they got after Carlos Rodon on Tuesday and have the chance to do the same against Danks. Danks has not had any luck with men on base and has been elevating a lot of pitches this season. His changeup is the worst in baseball, even though he throws it over 30 percent of the time. The Cardinals rank tied for seventh in runs above average on changeups.
Here are the top value hitters for July 22:
Evan Longoria ($3,500) – In a small sample size of seven early games, Longoria is the tied for the ninth-most expensive active third baseman on DraftKings. Longo is slumping right now, mired in a 2-for-28 slump that dates back to before the All-Star Break, but that’s when you want to capitalize on good hitters in DFS formats. Longoria is batting .338/.438/.462 against lefties this season and Adam Morgan is a pitch-to-contact lefty with a command problem. That’s a good matchup for a struggling hitter.
Edwin Encarnacion ($3,500) – Sonny Gray or not, Edwin Encarnacion is worth a look at this price. Gray has a .246 BABIP against on the season, with a .209 at home and a .276 on the road. He’s been good no matter where he has pitched, but Encarnacion has one of the game's better swings. He won't be as off-balance as others are against Gray. The average is down for Encarnacion, but the power is still there and he’s always a threat to get a hold of one. It doesn’t take much to get a good ROI on a great hitter at a price like this.
Martin Prado ($3,200) – I said yesterday that it’s best to avoid players on the trade block, but I’ll make an exception for Martin Prado on Wednesday. Prado draws left-hander Robbie Ray and left-handers are always a good matchup for Prado. Prado hasn’t dominated lefties the way he usually does this season, but he is still 15 percent above league average against them with a .297/.328/.453 slash. In a good hitting environment at Chase Field, Prado is certainly worth a look at 2B tonight.
Here are the top value starting pitchers for July 22:
Kyle Hendricks ($7,800) – After a late night loss on Tuesday, the Cincinnati Reds cannot be very excited for the quick turnaround to play a day game on Wednesday. That should work in Hendricks’s advantage. He’s been an underappreciated starter for the Cubs this season with a 3.44/3.23/3.37 pitcher slash over 104.2 innings of work. Hendricks has great control and good command and the Reds are in a situation where coming to the park is a bit of a struggle. Key players will be traded soon. The Cubs are trying to accumulate wins for a playoff chase, so expect them to be a lot more engaged in this game.
Jake Odorizzi ($8,300) – Jake Odorizzi returned from an oblique injury two starts ago. He threw 5.2 shutout against the Astros and then got battered by the Blue Jays in his last start coming out of the All-Star Break. Odorizzi draws a very poor Philadelphia Phillies lineup on Wednesday and should be able to start smoothing everything out. In his third start back, Kevin Cash may loosen the restraints a little bit and let Odorizzi go deeper into the game and a strikeout per inning and some quality work should be expected.
Jose Fernandez ($10,000) – I would follow Jose Fernandez into the depths of hell, so I will definitely follow him at this price. One of the game’s best has shown no ill effects from Tommy John surgery. In 19 innings, he has a 21/1 K/BB ratio. He has allowed five runs and scattered 17 hits. What I notice from his usage is that he has gone with more changeups at the expense of curveballs. If he’s working to refine an outstanding third (or fourth, depending on where you look) pitch, he’ll be unhittable. More than he already is.